Superman/Batman – Public Enemies (Warner Blu-ray) + Ruby-Spears: Superman + Plastic
Man – The Complete Collection (DC Comics/Ruby Spears/Warner DVDs)
A-/C+/C+ Sound: B+/C+/C+ Extras: B+/C+/C+ Film/Episodes: B/C+/C+
Superman/Batman – Public Enemies
been previously on this site on DVD, I will not reiterate the plot synopsis and
rather discuss the Blu-ray itself. To
take a look at the wonderful DVD release review, please follow the link below:
wary about the somewhat new and odd animation styling of Superman Batman – Public Enemies when I first saw previews for the
straight to video venture; but after viewing the Blu-ray I quite enjoyed the
animation. The story was just ‘ok,’ as
it was nothing groundbreaking, but far from bad. I think that the story and characters were
lacking necessary emotion and the events of the feature seemed a tad rushed, to
the point of distracting from the original premise. Whereas in an overall sense I felt the film
was excellent, individual events could have been given more attention to
develop the plot rather than merely throwing enemy, after enemy at the crime
say this is a must have for any DC comic fan as the superhero crew creating
these straight to video releases seems to finally be getting a hold of how
things should be done. I expect the nest
release to be even better.
technical features on the Blu-ray are outstanding. The picture is presented in a 1080P High
Definition VC-1 encoded, 1.78 X 1 widescreen that boasts vivid colors, extreme
clarity and an overall wonderfully diverse image. To date this is a stand out Blu-ray animated
comic book feature. The audio is
presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround track that is not perfect but is very
nice. I would have liked more range and
directionality on the action sequences, but the dialogue is crisp and only
needs minor adjustments.
extras on this Blu-ray include over 3 hours of bonus features; including A Test of Minds: Superman and Batman in
which the viewer can explore the dynamics of the evolving relationship between
two classic superhero entities; Dinner
with DCU and Special Guest Kevin Conroy – Extended Version: The Voice of Batman
Shares a Meal and Talks with DC Universe
Creative Team; Exclusive Sneak Peek at DC Universe’s Upcoming Justice League
Crisis of Two Earths; Behind the Scenes of Blackest Night, the Epic DC Comics
Super Hero event in which the Dead Shall Rise; Bruce Timm presents 6 Bonus
Cartoons; Explore 4 other DC Universe Animated Movies. My favorite segment was the dinner with
Conroy, Timm, Romano and Noveck as they discuss the ins and outs of Batman the Animated Series in terms of
how it developed and impacted all the DC Universe features to come; quite
interesting as they casually give information and trivia you will find no where
else. The cartoons included on this set
are merely some already released Justice
League episodes that feature some crossover segments.
again must say this is a brilliant release that any fan would be more than
lucky to own; especially on Blu-ray.
now featured Superman DVD and Blu-ray releases dozens of times on this site and
no matter how many times I view the iconic hero, I am surprised how different
each incarnation truly is. Ruby-Spears Superman is composed of 13
unique episodes that each contains two heroic tales.
episode starts with the classic 1978 John Williams Superman score and the 1950’s Superman
television series voice over; truly catering to every long time fans dreams
for the man of steel. Each week Superman
would seemingly battle a new nemesis; on four occasions that nemesis being Lex
Luthor, now revamped to be a viscously evil businessman, rather than the mad
scientist of yesteryear.
acting is amazingly well done as all the Superman classic characters surface;
including Superman (Beau Weaver) himself, Lois Lane (Ginny McSwain), Jimmy Olsen
and many more. The series is amazingly
detailed and combines many facets of Superman lore; giving the series depth and
excitement for any true fan. Whereas the
series is amazingly detailed on some fronts, it failed to grasp the concept of
a continuous story arch as each episode is mostly independent, merely featuring
a “battle of the week” mentality. With
that said if the baddy that episode was a drag, it in turn ruined that episode;
there were no extra plot twists revealed and the episode was a loss.
all I would have to call this series very well done as compared to the many
other prior Superman incarnations that were mostly hokey and only memorably
bad. This series took the character of
Superman and reestablished his superhero status, while paving way for later
series like Superman the Animated Series
and the above reviewed Superman
Batman: Public Enemies.
picture, sound and extras on the DVD set are very basic and slide by as
adequate. The picture is your standard
1.33 X 1 full screen presentation that looks better than the previously
released Superfriends sets, but the
quality still bounces all around as the colors are vibrant at some points and
not at others; as well as there being noticeable print damage in some
episodes. The audio is Dolby Digital
Mono track that is simple at best, remaining clean and clear throughout without
being anything thrilling.
extras only house a single 12minute featurette entitled Corporation of the
Corrupt: The Rise of Lexcorp, which goes through a series of interviews to
discuss the rise and evolution of the Lex Luthor character. Many animators and experts chime in to give
some insight to the characters development.
The Ruby Spears Superman is an exciting
addition to any superhero collection and a nice set for fans young or old.
Plastic Man – The
The Ruby Spears Plastic
Man ran from 1979-1981 and was distinguished from other superhero series by
its unique brand of comedy. Whereas
other superhero series of the time mostly took themselves seriously with brief
comic interludes (often ending up quite campy), Plastic Man greatly accepted comedy and used it as a structural
To be honest, what the Plastic Man series lacked in depth it made up for in heart. I am a bit young to have viewed the series in
its original airing, but I fondly remember catching reruns of the elastic hero
throughout the 80’s. Plastic Man has faired well over the
years, because unlike the many Superfriends
incarnations (as mentioned above) it had fun without worrying about
destroying the characters street cred.
The visual gags were a hallmark of the series and throughout the 35
episode run Plastic Man found himself in a variety of situations that allowed
the creators to bend and twist him as they pleased.
The one complaint about the series is the lack of a
“larger universe.” Plastic Man was for all intents and purposes meant to be a fun
series and whereas today we expect every heroic episode to be interlinked, with
Plastic Man no such actions were
taken to maintain continuity. Each week,
Plastic Man would smash a new baddy, whether it be Solex, Half-Ape, Disco Mummy
or some other ridiculous villain; never considering back story or how he got to
Sure the jokes are lame and the animation falls in line
with other hokey Hanna-Barbera series; but I honestly think the creators were
just having fun here. With the Complete Plastic Man series now
available on DVD there is no excuse to not enjoy this often forgotten
superhero’s many adventures.
The picture and sound on this set are adequate at best,
like other Ruby Spears releases. The
picture is presented in a simple full screen that does not demonstrate the most
vivid colors and has a bit of grain; in the end suffering the same fate as many
other superhero series. All in all a
remastering of the series is needed. The
audio is a Dolby Digital Mono track that gets the job done, but is far from
thrilling as the dialogue is just ok and the music drags; I would have to call
it bland overall.
The extras include “Stretch Your Plastic Man Knowledge
with Plas-tastic Retrospective Featurette;” “Enjoy Mindbending Plastic Man
Animated Series Unaired Pilot Episode.”
The extras are merely fillers though I am happy they included something
as I am sure coming up with bonus material on such a “forgotten” series is
difficult. The unaired Pilot episode is
not from the 1979 version, but rather the 2006 attempted reboot that was a tad
darker and was very entertaining.
For superhero fans this is a must have and that is no
- Michael P.